Breathlessness (Sudden Onset)

Breathlessness can be a sign of serious illness and if you are not sure you may need medical attention quickly, particularly where the breathlessness is of sudden onset. There is one exception to this, panic attacks, where a feeling of breathlessness is caused by anxiety and you are actually over-supplied with Oxygen. This condition is called “Hyperventilation” See also Panic Disorder and Asthma Attack.

If your breathlessness is of sudden onset you must seek medical help urgently. Depending on the severity call 999, 111 or ask you GP for an urgent call back. There are too many causes for breathlessness to cover here, please use common sense or check on NHS choices. If there is associated chest pain it could be due to a heart attack and you must call 999